Thursday, June 28, 2012

Foundation Love: Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum

Being an oily skin gal myself, finding a foundation is quite the challenge. The perfect foundation needs to be so many things at once - it needs to control my oil, it needs to stay on my face and not slide off or oxidize, but most importantly for me, it also needs to not look cakey.. That's a tough bill to fill, and honestly, filling all the criteria is next to impossible. The Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Foundation is the foundation that comes the closest to this impossible feat.

Bourjois' Healthy Mix Serum Foundation is quite the miracle in the bottle.The foundation smells amazing, is lightweight, easily blendable and does not oxidize on my face. Because it is lightweight however (only a bit heavier than a tinted moisturizer), my face often needs additional concealing. I do not mind concealing at all though because to me, only concealing the parts of my face that need it also helps me avoid the cakey face syndrome. While this foundation doesn't combat my oily skin, such as a foundation like Estee Lauder's Double Wear might, it doesn't wear off completely during the day (6+ hours), especially with a powder on top. I also appreciate that this foundation doesn't feel like a masque, and lets my skin breathe. This foundation does not make me break out at all, like some heavier foundations might (namely, Nars Sheer Glow, Estee Lauder Double Wear). I've also tested this on my cousin who has normal skin for a photo shoot and it gave her the nicest, glowing skintone on camera, and in real life. I highly suggest this foundation if you have dry to combination skin. If you have oily skin, I'd suggest testing it out first to see if it's compatible with your skin. It is for mine, but only because I do not want much coverage, or a heavy foundation.

This foundation will most likely become a staple of mine, especially during the winter months. It is natural and lightweight which is exactly what I look for in a foundation - no cakeyness, no glitter/shimmer, no streak marks. The downside of this foundation however, is that the shade range is limited, and even more so in Canada.

While it is $27 in Canada, it is still cheaper than most higher end foundations. Plus, if you live in the UK, I think it's cheaper for you!

Hope this mini-review was helpful and that you're all having a good week!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Because I'm a rebel... You Don't Know Jacques Suede!!

Yes, I'm completely aware that suede nail polishes are not meant for summer, but I was so excited to find this bottle of polish at my local Winners, I knew I had to give it a try. Plus it's pretty! Plus the boy picked it for my next swatch and I had to oblige. And don't you think breaking up summer neons and brights with a suede is a bit shocking?! I like it! 

My cuticles are horrible. Cleaning, moving and stress have taken a serious toll on my body. My apologies!

I wore this  for a couple days and it chipped like mad. I had to put another coat on for the pictures but you can still see some tip wear! But, the shimmer is so gorgeous - I received a lot of compliments on this! The polish dried crazy fast - like, I'm not done painting fast. So that was good. But I think that without a top coat, this polish has a very short life. Oh well. It's a bit disappointing because it's so gorgeous but perhaps next time I'll try it with a top coat. I'm not a massive fan of the suede look, but it's fun to wear once in a while, nonetheless. 

It's dark, windy and rainy here today. I wonder if that's the reason my headache has not stopped all morning. How's the weather were you are? Seems like a month of summer is almost over and we've gotten no beach weather! Not on the weekends anyway - but isn't that the way it goes in Canada?

Saturday, June 23, 2012

A splurge on Guerlain Bal de Mai

When I was visiting my family a few weeks ago, I took advantage of Shoppers Drug Mart redeem your points day at a location that had makeup brands that I do not have in my city, namely, Guerlain.

I've always been intrigued by Guerlain - the gorgeous packaging, the luxury of the brand, the stellar reviews - but I always wondered if the price was worth it. Lucky for me, by redeeming my points, I was able to try the brand without the weight of the price tag.

From the start, I knew I wanted a Rouge Automatic. It had been so highly reviewed on Temptalia that I knew I wanted to give a shade a go. After swatching for a while, with the boyfriend sitting on a makeup chair, bored out of his mind (sorry!), I settled on the Bal de Mai 160.

I love the font of Guerlain. Gorgeous!

Bal de Mai is a gorgeous coral toned rosy, plummy color with a light golden shimmer. I found it to be quite moisturizing, and it wore for 4+ hours on me before needing reapplication.

On my lips.

 My apologies, this swatch is a bit dark, but it's probably also the most accurate.

From left to right: Dior Addict in Garconne, Dior Addict in Tailleur Bar, Clarins Joli Rouge in Rose Sorbet 702, Guerlain Bal de Mai 160, Lancome Rouge in Love in Rose Rendez-Vous, Laura Mercier Pink Champagne (now called Sparkling Pink), MAC Brave, MAC Hug Me.

In tone, I'd say Laura Mercier Pink Champagne is the closest to Bal de Mai - it is however much darker, more opaque and doesn't contain any shimmer. Dior Addict Garconne is also similar but much sheerer and a bit more coral.

Lineup of comparators.

All and all, Guerlain Bal de Mai is very unique. I'm in love with the light but opaque texture and the slight glossy effect of the lipstick. It barely has any scent and its packaging is gorgeous and sturdy. If I were the kind of person who keeps a lipstick in her bag, this would be a lipstick I wouldn't be shy of slathering on in public - the packaging needs showing off!

Now, for the price point - this lipstick is expensive. At $40 in Canada, this is the definition of a splurge. If you're on a tight budget, this lipstick isn't worth it. While it's very nice, and definitely a gorgeous lipstick, I'm sure there are more affordable versions out there. I don't think I would have purchased this lipstick if it wasn't for the Shoppers points option - the price is foolish. But at the same time, if you have the money, why not? Life is too short and Guerlain is stunning. The end.

Hope you're having a great weekend. I sun-burned my shoulders (yes, I wore 30 SPF sunscreen, which I applied twice, but I assume it must have rubbed off or something...) and have been slathering them with Aloe Vera.

What's your take on makeup splurges? Do you think high-end makeup is worth it sometimes? What's the highest you'd pay for a lipstick?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A (mini) Nuxe review

Not too long ago, I saw a Nuxe travel bag, with various sample sized Nuxe goodies in it at my local Shoppers Drug Mart. It was only $15 and was going to give me the chance to try out some of this coveted brand's products so I thought I should get it, just for fun. It turned out to be way more awesome that I had bargained for.

First off, Nuxe products have quite a strong scent, so before you purchase some of their items, I strongly suggest you take a sniff at them first, especially if you're sensitive to scents in general. I like it, but it did take me a few tries to get used to it.

The travel bag consisted of the following: 
- Crème Prodigieuse Normal Skin to Combination face moisturizer
- Rêve de Miel Hand and Nail Cream
- Huile Prodigieuse
- Rêve de Miel Face and Body Cleansing Gel
- Eau Démaquillante Micellaire

As you can see from the pictures, the Rêve de Miel Face and Body Wash has been completely used up. You can't tell from the picture but my hand cream and face cream are almost empty. This post is a long-winded way to say that I absolutely love each of these products. So much in fact, that the Crème Prodigieuse has been repurchased in its full size glory.

First off, I think I can honestly say that the Rêve de Miel face and body wash is the best face wash I've ever used. Once I'm done with my inferior Spectro-Jel and Cetaphil, this will be purchased, I guarantee you. This cleanser is strikes the perfect balance of a thorough cleanse without stripping my oily skin. It does have a slight foaming action (however, Nuxe claims this does not contain any soaps) and works wonderfully with my Clarisonic. Again, this is quite heavily scented, and in my opinion, it does take a point off this product. However, I did get used to it with time and I didn't necessarily like the smell to start with (I hate the smell of honey in general) but grew to really really like it. It's quite a comforting smell to me now! Even though this can be used on the body, I used it on my face only. I'd be curious to try is as a body wash though!

The Rêve de Miel Hand Cream is delicious - it's moisturizing, sinks in well, and it does not leave your hands feeling oily. However, again, this is quite heavily scented and I cannot use it at the office (my boss is sensitive to smells). I use it at home a lot tough. I don't think I'll repurchase this hand cream because I find the Almond Hand Cream from the Body Shop more moisturizing. Plus, I have about 50 tubes of various hand cream lying around the house - I have to use them! A 75ml tube retails for 17$.

I don't know if anyone has read the great review on Cafe Makeup about the Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse? This is what influenced my to try this product but I wasn't sure I wanted the full size version, hence the trial size. Well after having tested it out for a month or so, it is prodigieux, to say the least. This thing is AMAZING, I kid you not. This soothes my freshly waxed or shaved legs, leaves my hair shiny, and soothes any dry skin patches. Amazing. It sinks in almost immediately, and you only need a tiny amount. I've used it at least 10 times and it hasn't made a dent in the bottle. If you have dry and uncomfortable skin, I think you would get a lot of use out of this product. I personally do not have dry skin and was still able to find many uses for it, namely for legs, hands and hair. This has the typical Nuxe smell but I find the Huile Prodigieuse less scented than the other products.Their 50ml retail for 26$ in Canada.

Finding a moisturizer when you have oily skin, as I'm sure some of you know, is a pain. The Crème Prodigieuse Anti-Fatigue Moisturizing face cream is honestly the first face cream I've ever though actually works with my skin. It's quite thick and creamy in consistency, but then it sinks in wonderfully on the skin, leaving your skin plump and moisturized, but matte in a natural finish sort of way. I really do kind of believe Nuxe's claim that it helps tired skin - I don't know what it is but my skin always feels fresh and awake when I put this on. I absolutely love it and, as mentioned, have already bought the full size version. Finally, a moisturizer that works! Again, this is quite scented, but it doesn't bother me, and the scent lingers for only a little while. I've tested the Normal to Combination skin Crème Prodigieuse, but they do make one for dry skin. A tube of 40ml is 32$ in Canada.

I haven't tested out the Eau Démaquillante Micellaire very much but so far so good - it takes off my makeup without much rubbing. However, I do like the fact that my Bioderma is unscented and takes off the very heaviest of makeup without much trouble. I'll probably only use this Eau Démaquillante for little to no makeup days where I just need refresher. It's very good - I'm just not as taken by this product as the other Nuxe goodies I've tested. The full size 200ml bottle of this is 22$ in Canada.

Damn Nuxe, you really know your stuff! My apologies for this long winded review, but in my honest blogger opinion, these products are amazing. If you're not sure where to venture with Nuxe, I'd suggest you try out the Huile Prodigieuse first as it has so many great uses.

I hope this was helpful in some way to you! I'm in the process of testing out a few other Nuxe products, including their famous Rêve de Miel balm. I haven't been disappointed yet by this brand... now if only they could lower their prices (significantly!) so that I can purchase all their products, that would be swell.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

China Glaze's Hey Sailor

Moving has totally taken over my life - boxes of books, nail polish and shoes are lying around me and the disorder is drying my crazy! However, the bonuses include living with the boy, my new plant, and an extra awesome closet, laundry room and kitchen. I've gone way up in apartment quality!

Now for the nail polish of the day - China Glaze's Hey Sailor!

Hey Sailor is a beautiful bright cherry red color. This picture has one coat of Hey Sailor and a top coat of Seche Vite. I'm quite impressed that this polish is opaque in one coat! My nails were in bad condition when this picture was taken, that's why the polish looks so poor on my nail, but I assure you the formula of this polish was excellent!

Hope you've all had a good week! It's so nice to see the weather be nice once again - too bad I'm stuck inside unpacking boxes!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Oh So Special, you sure are Sleek

Sleek has been impressing the heck out of me lately. It's not that I thought it wasn't a good brand, it's that I have limited access to it in Canada, which means I have to order online. This means I can't test it in stores and have to rely on online swatches to see if I'll like Sleek products. Since the Pixiwoos use Sleek eyeshadow palettes constantly in their tutorials, I figured I couldn't go wrong with this Sleek Oh So Special palettes.

I am so impressed by this palette. Seriously, it is amazing. The shadows are (almost) all very pigmented and apply beautifully. Only a couple shades gave me some issues (namely, Gateau and Bow) but I will explain why - I don't think this affected the overall quality of this palette. Plus, I find the colors unique - I can't find exact dupes in my collection. I also think this palette strikes a good balance between matte and shimmery shadows. Most colors you would use in your crease are matte and most shadows you would use on your lid are shimmery - well done Sleek!

I love Sleek's packaging. Simple and classic. And black - that's always a bonus in my book!

Swatches, left to right: (barely visible) Bow, Organza, Ribbon, Gift Basket, Glitz, Celebrate, Pamper, Gateau, The Mail, Boxed, Wrapped Up, Noir

Swatches, in daylight, left to right: (barely visible) Bow, Organza, Ribbon, Gift Basket, Glitz, Celebrate, Pamper, Gateau, The Mail, Boxed, Wrapped Up, Noir

The Noir shade really impressed me in this palette - it is POTENT. This is a swatch of Noir beside MAC's Carbon. Bet you didn't think Carbon sucked until now! I definitely do!

MAC's Sketch on the left and Celebrate on the right.

Now for the tiny disadvantages of this palette. The Bow shade is very chalky and not pigmented - it's barely visible and you could basically use invisible loose powder in its place. I don't know why this was overlooked by Sleek but the only way I can even imagine using it is for blending out shadow. Even then, I'm not sure I would use it. Also, the shade Gateau was VERY soft to the point that I pretty much dented the shadow and had to push it back in the pan because it was crumbling. I'm not sure if that's just me or it's because the shadow is so shimmery. Either way, it's not a huge deal, I just have to be careful when applying it. Consequently, there is a bit of fall out with this shadow as well. Actually, don't load your eyeshadow brush with product as there will be fall out with most of these shadows.

I hope this was helpful to you! I'll hopefully be reviewing more of these palettes - I'm very happy with the quality of them!

Have you been trying any Sleek makeup? What do you think of the shadows? Do you find fall out troublesome with these palettes?

Hope you've had a great start to your week!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Sleek Sugar Palette!

Sorry for being a bit absent from this blog! My life is super busy right now with moving, work and various other pickles I've gotten myself into. I promise to TRY to stay on the bandwagon but posting may be a bit sporadic!

Today, I'd like to share a very special palette: the Sleek Blush by 3 palette in Sugar!

I was very excited to receive this palette because of a) the rave reviews it has been receiving b) Getting Cheeky's post on it and c) the blushes in this palette aren't super common (AKA, Coral are everywhere lately!).

Here's the palette in all its glory. The colors from left to right are Turbinado, Muscovado and Demerara.
I love the compact and clean design of the palette. It makes it perfect for traveling.

Swatched lighty, left to right in Turbinado (very light shimmer), Muscovado (shimmer) and Demerara (as far as I can tell, matte).

Swatches more heavily, same order.

These blushes are excellent. They stay on all day, and I've personally been taken with Demerara as a neutral cheek color. I usually wear it with a smokey/heavy eye and it is perfect. While my Pumpkin Pie palette is more pigmented than the Sugar palette, I find the Sugar palette easier to work with and the colors more wearable. I get the feeling that Turbinado will be my go to in the fall!

I also love that this palette is a blush palette - it's quite difficult to find a blush palette on the market that is compact and has quality blushes. This is definitely the best I've encountered and will be very handy when I'm traveling.

Have you discovered any beauty palettes lately that you like? Let me know - I can't get enough of them!

Hope you all had a great weekend! 

Monday, June 4, 2012

Butter London Jaffa, finally

Yay! I've finally gotten my hands on Butter London Jaffa! I caved after Nail Polish Canada was offering free shipping on Butter London nail polishes. I'm not disappointed at all!
This was the kind of polish that once I applied the first coat, I just knew I'd love this polish forever. The color is just amazing. While I thought from online pictures it was going to be a pure orange creme, it leans towards a coral creme in my opinion. As you can see from the pictures however, I did get tip wear after a day. That's not good. However, I'm wondering if this has to do with me using Seche Vite more than the polish itself. I shall test it with another topcoat. Also, it didn't chip for quite a few days, the only problem was with the tipwear.

I'm getting a slight obsession with Butter London. Help. 

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Used up in May!

A little late but here we are! I've been really trying to finish products this past month because I'll be moving in about two weeks! I don't want to drag along bottles that are half empty to the new place so I've been concentrating my efforts on the following products. 

I'm happy to say that I loved most products I've finished!

First off, I finished my bottle of Neutrogena Body Clear Body Wash. This is a go to for me as I do get a bit of body acne once in a while. This helps it stay under control. I usually use this every couple days as it doesn't smell especially good and is a bit drying. Still, I've already repurchased the grapefruit version.

The Body Shop Lychee Blossom Shower Gel has been so-so for me. I love the body wash itself, but the smell is a bit too fruity/flowery for me. It's a nice smell but I'm more into earthy, natural scents. I can't repurchase this because it has been discontinued at The Body Shop. Oh well!

I absolutely loved my Infusium 23 Color Defender Conditioner. It was amazing at detangling my hair, moisturizing it, and keeping my hair color fresh. Plus, it smells AMAZING. I seriously can't think of a better smelling conditioner - it smells fresh and lingers in the hair. Mmmm. I definitely will repurchase this conditioner in the future, but I'm currently finishing up some other bottles.

Ugh, the Avene Cold Creme Hand Cream has given me some grief. To sum up this hand cream, I think I'm just going to say simply that it sucks hard. It doesn't moisturize at all - it actually leaves my hands feeling drier than before I've applied it. Do not buy this, there are much much better hand creams out there on the market, namely, The Body Shop Almond hand cream.

I randomly picked up this EOS Vanilla Bliss Shaving Cream at Shoppers Drug Mart because it was on clearance for something like $3 and I had read about it on I thought I'd give it a go. And guys, I am not joking, this is the best shaving cream EVER. I'm very very sensitive to shaving. Every time I shave, my skin gets very itchy and irritated. This shaving cream moisturized my legs while shaving and didn't leave mt skin irritated. I wish I could repurchase but I'm not sure my local Shoppers carries this anymore. Plus, I have a crappy shaving cream to use to up. I miss this product so much already!

Lastly, I finished my Aveda Madder Root Color Conditioner. At $18 (I think!), this isn't cheap, but for any redheads that keep losing their color, this is amazing. First off, I must say, this isn't a very good conditioner. I always use a secondary conditioner after using this to make my hair a bit softer. But the color depositing properties of this is amazing - it always leaves my hair much much redder and brighter. I love it. I wish I could find an equivalent for this on the market that is a bit cheaper but I can't seem to find anything! If I don't find anything, I will most likely repurchase this product. I think it's worth the price but I'm also open to cheaper options since this isn't particularly conditioning.

That is it! I didn't use up any makeup products sadly... but honestly, that rarely happens! Oh, the life of a beauty blogger!

Hope you all had a great weekend!